On March 13, 2020, I was 13 years old.
Throughout quarantine, I never felt like I had “a thing.” I was always mediocre at virtually everything I tried. Whether it was sports, from cross country to volleyball, theater, concert band, I was always just okay. Never the best, never the worst.
One of many days I spent secluded in my bedroom, staring at the electric purple laws, an idea rushed over me like I was a rock in a coursing river. Without thinking twice about it, I found myself furiously typing “online keyboard” into my Google search bar. I was overcome with the inspiration to write a song. And then another. And another.
Before I knew it, I had 12 recorded tracks of an original album that I was ready to share with the world.
While each song was personal to me in its own unique way, one stood out among the rest: “Dalia.” The creative writer in me loves writing songs that tell a story, because I get to put myself in the place of someone who is vastly different from me. In this case, it was a young woman who was suffering from domestic violence.
The 4 and a half minute track follows Dalia as she realizes that she deserves better than her current situation and leaves her abusive fiancée. It has some of my strongest work lyrically with lines such as “a myriad of thoughts swirled in her mind as he reached into her purse to find the keys to the couple’s brand new Ford Escape” and “if you see yourself in Dalia, let this be a sign to get out of that situation and lead a happy life.” Music can be a vehicle of empowerment for marginalized groups, and it’s important to shed light on topics that aren’t discussed nearly enough.
Producing music came so easily to me, I look back and I don’t even know how I did it. Maybe it was because it was one of my only creative outlets during a period of intensive isolation. Maybe it was because I needed an all-consuming distraction to keep me in a halfway decent state of mind. Maybe the words were in me all along.
Whatever it was, on August 1, 2022, this culmination of ideas was released as “Conceptions & Conclusions.” Each track could somehow be tied into a theme of beginnings and endings, though that title would be far less interesting and lacks alliteration.
I can’t say for sure that I ever would have found my love for songwriting if not for the pandemic. Even when I was little, I would make 1-2 minute recordings of disastrous original lyrics. However, I don’t think I would have had the means to turn it into something I wasn’t ashamed to attach my name to––even if it wasn’t my real one.
Finding something I was so passionate about and, for once, good at also helped me find myself along the way. I’ve always loved music as a whole, but the subset of songwriting wasn’t something I had entirely considered before the pandemic. There’s still so much I’m discovering about who I am, but quarantine at least gave me the blueprint of my identity.